Sustainable Development In Transport and LogisticsVasja Omahne
, 2021, master's thesis/paper
Abstract: The support for an ongoing global pursuit of sustainable development, consumer awareness about sustainability, and regulations have affected the transport and logistics sector due to the fact that it presents ample environmental, social and economic challenges. The transport sector contributes globally to about 14% of greenhouse gas emissions, and around one third of the European Union's emissions, yet also represents an important economic sector, employing around 10 million individuals, thus requiring an in-depth discussion, especially regarding environmental impact. Due to increasing global concern for the environment, companies and policymakers are facing pressure to reduce the environmental impact related to transport and logistics activities and make them more sustainable. Before choosing a best practice for improvement, especially regarding the environmental perspective, a thorough analysis regarding the environmental impact has to be carried out based on reliable data and methodology. For such purposes, the life cycle assessment (LCA) defined by standards ISO 14040 and 14044 is commonly used. While the LCA focuses only on the environmental perspective, sustainability is represented by three dimensions, which are environmental, economic and social and those are interlinked, which presents a challenge, as each dimension has a major impact on every stage of the life cycle of a product, process or service. Thus there is a need to evaluate all three perspectives of sustainability in order to make transport and logistics processes more sustainable. Another option to make transport and logistics processes more sustainable and to achieve sustainable development is through education. Thus, it is important to integrate sustainability-oriented topics in logistics programs and courses, and consequently educate future logisticians about sustainability. Considering environmental burdens and sustainable development in transport and logistics, we explored LCA regarding its use in transport and logistics and studied the integration of sustainability into logistics education in EU, as it is important to educate future logistics managers and decision makers to gain sufficient knowledge on the importance of sustainability. Also, as logistics processes pose several environmental challenges and impacts, social and economic impacts are the ones that are frequently overlooked. Thus we additionally focused on performing an applicable comprehensive sustainability evaluation of a monkey toy and evaluated its environmental (through LCA), social (through SLCA) and economic (through LCC) impacts through the life cycle. At the same time, we explored options to enhance the present CE concept in the monkey toy company. Exploring the use of LCA in transport and logistics, we focused on the state-of-the-art of transport-related life cycle assessment studies, as they are important for the decision-making processes. Our research of LCA & transport studies was framed around the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization. A specific focus was given to the quality of life cycle assessment phases, comprehending goal and scope, inventory, life cycle impact assessment, and interpretation. Thirty-four research and review papers were studied, sourced from the Web of Science database. Studying the monkey toy, we firstly assessed the environmental impacts of the toy through LCA and additionally combined it with SLCA and LCC to evaluate the toy's sustainability comprehensively. Based on the results of the sustainability evaluation, we gained an insight into environmental, economic and social hotspots that the monkey represents. We then presented a possible enhancement of the CE concept. Lastly, focusing on logistics education, we analyzed and elaborated upon an integration of sustainability topics at higher education programs in logistics and their curricula for bachelor and master degrees at universities across Europe.
Keywords: Logistics, Transport, Sustainability, Life-cycle assessment, Logistics education
Published: 26.03.2021; Views: 118; Downloads: 0